Jesse - Sitting in No Man's LandMature

That was easier than I thought it'd be.

We've got a long flight ahead of us, so I might as well turn over the assignment in my mind. It pays to know what you're meant to be doing.

Our target is a German banker, code-named Nova. His dirty dealings with Arab terrorists have just been discovered, apparently - which, in this line of business, means they've been sitting on it for a while, just waiting for the moment that brings them the most profit. Jeeze. Sometimes I hate this job.

But we're not just a disposal unit. No no. It's in the name - the I and the E. Intelligence and Espionage. See? We go in undercover to Berlin, pretend to be wealthy business investors interested in placing large amounts of money in Nova's bank - the Reichsufer Bank.

That's where I come in. The other two in my team are assasins, mainly, they deal with the behind the scenes stuff. Me, I like to be up front about things. I can do hand-to-hand combat. Not that the others can't - I'm sure they can. It's just that, this is what I'm on the team for. For being undercover, sniffing out what I can, defending myself if and when I need to. It's them that do the final deed. Not me. Never me.

I couldn't live with myself if I did.

'Quit daydreaming, nyebol'shoy,' Cypher glares at me. She seems the prickly type. Aren't they all? Wraith's not exactly a teddy bear either.

People talk about the 'dream team' in this job - the two others you trust entirely with your life, and who reciprocate that trust. The team that works smoothly, without any hiccups. I've never had a team like that - if I had, they wouldn't have moved me. But you always end up with one person who's cut off inside themselves, who's not interested in anything but the paycheck they'll get at the end of this.

I've got two of them. And I trust them both with my life because that's what you have to do in this job. But I don't trust them to watch my back for me. I've got to do that myself.

Sometimes I get tired of this whole thing. Of not knowing where you're going to wake up tomorrow. Of checking behind you for a tail. Of walking into a room and immediately sizing up who's got the gun hidden down their shirt and working out escape routes. I've been trained for this - we all have. And it beats any other job I could have. And I like it, because I can feel I'm doing something to help, something that matters, that'll save lives.

But sometimes I just want a normal life.

A year ago I met a girl. We were just friends - to begin with. Nothing really happened. But I liked her company, and she liked mine, and we began to get together more and more often. Until I got called away again. And when I came back - she'd gone. Just disappeared off the face of the earth. I got a call from the guys way up high in SPIES. Apparently, agents 'can't get too attached to civilians'. So that was that. They cut all my ties with the normal world, and left me here, with a woman who hates the entire world, and a man who couldn't care less.

And then there's me. Where do I fit in?

Until I work that one out, I think I'll just colonize no man's land.

The End

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